Houston & Alexander - August/September 2019

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AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2019

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APPLE CIDER AND BEYOND CREATIVE DRINKS TO KEEP YOU WARM THIS FALL

During the chilly nights of autumn, most people turn to one of three piping hot drinks to keep them warm: hot chocolate, apple cider, or tea. But take it from us — you can do much better. There’s no better place to be during the fall than in your warm kitchen experimenting with the plethora of hot drink recipes the season has to offer. Thanks to the rise of celebrity chefs and kitchen keyboard warriors (aka food bloggers), there are dozens of variations on hot chocolate, apple cider, and hot tea out there and even more unique potions splashing onto the scene all the time. First, let’s address the favorites. You can easily improve your hot chocolate game by melting your own chocolate, adding a bit of cinnamon, and using whole milk instead of water, but the world of cocoa is much larger than that. For an extra sweet twist, try using white chocolate instead of milk chocolate or topping it with crumbled toffee and toasted hazelnut pieces instead of marshmallows. You can spice up your drink with pepper to mimic the Aztecs, or make a 21-and-up version by adding a shot of peppermint schnapps and whipped cream. When it comes to apple cider, try getting in the Halloween spirit with Food Network Canada’s Spooky Apple Cider Punch; the recipe calls for cinnamon

sticks, cloves, and floating apples carved to look like shrunken heads. If you’re looking for an adult beverage, mulled wine is a fun alternative that tastes similar. To make a batch, just add a bottle of red wine, sliced oranges, cloves, cinnamon sticks, star anise, and honey to a pan and simmer it for half an hour. For more kick, add 1/4 cup of brandy. As for tea, you can gussy up your cup with a splash of orange juice, a hint of lemon, sugar, vanilla, and almond extract to replicate the recipe for Russian tea from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe. In your quest for a soothing hot drink, don’t forget about coffee. There’s no reason to stoop to the over-hyped pumpkin spiced latte from Starbucks when it’s easy to make your own healthier, tastier version at home with a coffee maker, whole milk, spices, and a can of pumpkin puree. For an indulgent upgrade, drizzle on some of Simply Sissom’s homemade salted pumpkin spice syrup. Fall lattes aren’t limited to pumpkin, either. It would be a shame to go the whole season without sipping a chai — whether homemade with Indian spices or from your favorite coffee shop. Last, but certainly not least, are the fall drinks you’ve perhaps never heard of. Foremost among them, for those of drinking age, is hot buttered rum, which is a warming drink that dates back to

colonial days. You can make the rich brew at home if you have rum, butter, brown sugar, honey, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and a pinch of salt. For the younger crowd, try hot vanilla, Oatmeal with a Fork’s alternative to hot chocolate. Not only is it something a bit different, but the recipe is dairy-free, vegan, and paleo. Another healthy option is Green Kitchen Stories’ warm, spicy apple and carrot drink, which is an autumn concoction made with fruit and vegetable juices in addition to the usual spice suspects. That said, there’s nothing wrong with striking an indulgent note when it’s cold outside. Try A Spicy Perspective’s drinking caramel or Lick My Spoon’s maple-bacon hot buttered bourbon for an extra-sweet treat.

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